One may puzzle when asked, what is job sharing? Although the question may sound strange, it is because we are more familiar with the phrase flexible work. Nevertheless, job-sharing is part of flexible work. Job-sharing is a system of work where two people take the responsibility for one full-time position, dividing work, pay, holidays and other benefits between them according to the time they work.1 It is a viable option when ordinary part-time work is not, that is, when organizational needs require the job to be filled on a full-time basis, but not necessarily by only one person. The job is split to meet the needs of the sharers and of the job itself. Moreover, Job-sharing is a staffing arrangement that is flexible to staff members’ work schedules. Typically two incumbents, each working on staff-appointed part-time basis, share a full time position. While the idea has been around for a while, organizations throughout the country are been more reception to it more than ever before.
Job-sharing first became an issue when workers in dual-income households found conflicts with family obligations. Job-sharing options were a means of keeping valued employees on board and avoiding unnecessary recruitment and training costs. Today, organizations are finding out that job-sharing carries its own rewards.2
Whether you are in a public, non-profit, or private sector, your organization may be effected by job-sharing. According to a job-sharing study conducted in April 1994 by Conference Board, a business research organization based in New York City, 74 percent of 131 companies surveyed, offered job-sharing options. The survey found that compatibility of job-sharers, strong communication skills, trust between job sharers and managers, and dependability are the most important quality of good job share situations. Du Pont, a Wilmington, Delaware based company, has evidence, gathered over a 10-year period, that shows its job-sharing program has resulted in a more committed and productive work-force.2
Job sharing often occurs during reinventing or reengineering process where a company is looking into the organization to find out what can be done to motivate workers and to make public workplace a family-friendly atmosphere. Often times when an organization down sizes, the organization profits because it cuts the overtime cost. Job-sharing to me is part of reengineering in a sense that it solves problems in the organization ahead of time.
There are many opportunities that result from job-sharing. Job-sharing requires significant planning, coordination and communication between incumbents, and with the supervisor or team leader, and customers. The main benefit is working fewer hours. This is perfect if you want to spend more time with your family or pursue other activities. Job-sharing can also work in wide variety of occupations. Whether you are an attorney or a custodian worker, a teacher, a student, work...